From The Slush Pile II


1493575497170A few more gems from the stack of unsolicited manuscripts that reach publishers, giving an insight into how the minds of some would-be writers work…

‘You didn’t have to be an in-law to hate her guts,’ said Chester, ‘no pun intended.’

His pen poised, John hesitated over the white breast of the page.

Immediately after the helicopter was clear the clouds continued their romp across the early evening sky in eager anticipation of the coming of the storm that lingered unmoving just above them.

She screamed in the soprano range.

Her chocolate eyes were the envy of many friends.

His wiry body oozed with goose-bumpy joy.

The diamond necklace buried in the folds of her neck screamed ‘MONEY!’

The sergeant smiled wearily or warily, depending on how you spell it.

Jenny looked like a china doll. Grey-haired Louise was six months younger and looked twenty years older. Of course tragedy did these things to people. Jenny’s own husband had died two years ago of a heart attack but she hadn’t gone all to pieces. Of course, Louise’s husband and son had been victims in a murder case, which was rather different.

Special Dan Brown section

Where to begin with Mr Brown’s own special blotches of gibberish? How about these?

As he advanced, his dark eyes seemed to scorch the earth before him, radiating a fiery clarity that forecast his reputation for unblinking severity in all matters.

Overhanging her precarious body was a jaundiced face whose skin resembled a sheet of parchment paper punctured by two emotionless eyes.

Here’s someone apparently being thumped with a kaleidoscope.

Five months ago, the kaleidoscope of power had been shaken, and Aringarosa was still reeling from the blow.

Brown is beyond parody. His characters stop to describe cars and buildings while fleeing from the police, and the author throws in utterly irrelevant information in the mistaken assumption that it adds verisimilitude;

Only those with a keen eye would notice his 14-karat gold bishop’s ring with purple amethyst, large diamonds, and hand-tooled mitre-crozier appliqué.

Special ‘Twilight’ Section

Stephanie Meyer leaves Dan Brown far behind in the stinking prose stakes. She actually cannot write, which makes her books impossible to read unless you skim them for plot bones. Over to you, Steph;

None of them bought an apple, especially Edward.

His beauty stunned my mind.

His answering smile was dazzling.

It was probably beautiful, or something.

Aro laughed. ‘Ha ha ha,’ he giggled.

It’s no good, I can’t go on. I’m off to write a grammatically correct book that won’t sell one millionth as well as the above.




13 comments on “From The Slush Pile II”

  1. Brian Evans says:

    These are all really great….but the winner is: “None of them bought an apple, especially Edward.”

  2. Denise Treadwell says:

    I suspect an editor is required!

  3. Brooke says:

    Your writing is grammatically correct, interesting and intelligent. Stop it! Think money and write the really awful book you might be capable of. When conceiving plot, character, atmosphere and so forth, ask yourself, “what would Dan Brown do?” Or if that name is too sick-making, pick another silly best selling author. In fact, forget you’ve ever heard of bothersome things like plot, logic, imagination, well-constructed dialogue, etc.
    You can do it….we have faith in you. Feel free to use us as sounding boards.

  4. Brooke says:

    For kicks and giggles, I pasted phrases from the posts into Google search. Results included lots of frighteningly bad fiction with even more outlandish writing. Heaven help us.

  5. This was a good blog post to read in the week I’ve finally completed the second draft of my first novel. Whatever crap I may have written and not rooted out during the editing process, I’m certain I wrote nothing as bad as any of these – even in first draft. Thank you for the laughs.

  6. Elizabeth Blackwell says:

    These comments gave me a good laugh. They are so true. I enjoy your Bryant and May books very much. Sometimes I reread the sentences because they are so well written and I want to enjoy them again. Also, I like reading new words, not to mention all the historical information packed into your books. My favorite line from Wild Chamber, and I wrote it down to remember it, is on page 77 when Bryant says ‘Being alive is enough to be joyful.’ Thank you for that.

  7. Ian Luck says:

    I have been told that the ‘writing’ in the ‘Twilight’ books was awful, but on seeing those examples, I think that ‘awful’ doesn’t cut it. I’m thinking more along the lines of ‘special’, as in ‘special needs’. Now I fully understand why the ‘Twilight’ movies were so dire – having to use such drivel as source material, it all makes sense, now. Given the choice of watching a ‘Twilight’ movie again (I had to sit through one when my teenaged niece came to visit, and brought the DVD.), and firing nails into my face with a Hilti gun, I would go to the toolbox every time.

  8. She screamed in the soprano range – could be Raymand Chandler at the top of his game … but the rest …

  9. admin says:

    I may rewrite all my books in Dan Brown’s style:

    ‘The big men saw the other man, who wore a Dirk Bikkenberg casual woollen jacket sold only in London’s prestigious Saville Row, hit the priest with the metal thing he carried in church, namely a sceptre.’

    Piece of cake.

  10. Peter Dixon says:

    Surely the Bishop’s Ring is a euphemism….

  11. Brooke says:

    See… we knew you could do it. But take out the Dirk Bikkemberg reference. Too hip, too modern, too liberal agenda (unless DB pays you for product placement). Maybe a down market global brand like Polo. Cashmere instead of woollen. Carry on.

  12. Wayne Mook says:

    Thog’s master class on David Langford’s Ansible Link (SF/Fantasy updates & news.) gives some splendid examples of actual lines from books, Margret Atwood and the prolific Lionel Fanthorpe (man of a thousand pseudonyms OK maybe not that many, favourite one is Trebor Thorpe.) are some of the writers features.
    reading these makes me ooze with goose-bumpy joy.


  13. Helen Martin says:

    I want that helicopter to land immediately before it becomes involved in that romping cloud mass that is also an unmoving but advancing storm. Meteorology is a complex science but that image is a non-starter.
    More almost inaudible giggles.
    Oh, by the way; in the previous discussion of humour I wondered which river’s outlet was meant in the reference to “estuarine accent”. I imagine it is the Thames that is referred to but that still leaves a fair number of possibilities.

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